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Module 2

GE004
Ethics

to your first module!

to your first module!

This module is a combination of


COLLEGE OF ARTS AND synchronous & asynchronous learning
SCIENCES and will last for one week

C_Outline

Soledad A. Tambaoan
Professor
0933 814- 8524
sollytambaoan@yahoo.com.ph
fb: FB:
https://www.facebook.com/sollytambaoan

August 24, 2020


San Mateo Municipal College Date Initiated
Gen. Luna St. Guitnang Bayan I, San Mateo, Rizal August 28, 2020
Tel. No. (02) 997-9070 Date of Completion
www.smmc.edu.ph

San Mateo Municipal College


HANDOUT IN ETHICS – SCOPE AND IMPORTANCE OF ETHICS

OVERVIEW

Every science has its own field of inquiry, its subject matter which it studies and with which it deals. Thus, geology studies the earth,
astronomy, the stars, zoology, animals, and so forth.

Ethics studies human acts or human conduct. There are indeed other sciences which also study human conduct, such as sociology,
psychology, and education ;but ethics differs from each of these in its standpoint, or in the particular aspect of human acts which the
importance of ethics plays a great role with which it is particularly concerned: and the morality of human actions. Hence, the following
definitions of ethics.

INPUT INFORMATION

WHAT IS ETHICS?

1. Ethics is the practical science of the morality of human actions.


2. Ethics is the scientific inquiry into the principles of morality.
3. Ethics is the science of human acts with reference to right and wrong.
4. Ethics is the study of human conduct from the standpoint of morality.
5. Ethics is the study of rectitude of human conduct
6. Ethics is the science which lays down the principles of right living.7
7. Ethics is the practical science that guides us in our actions that we may live rightly and well.
According to Socrates, ethics is the investigation of life. These definitions are fundamentally the same. They tell the field of study of
ethics-human conduct and the special aspect of human conduct, which is the formal object of study – morality of human acts.
Let us explain the terms found in the definitions.

a) SCIENCE – systematic study or a system of scientific conclusions clearly demonstrated , derived from clearly established
principles and duly coordinated . N.B… By science here we do not mean experimental science. Ethics is a philosophical
science.

b) MORALITY- the quality of right or wrong in human acts.

c) HUMAN ACTS – acts done with knowledge and consent.

RELATIONS OF ETHICS WITH OTHER SCIENCES

Ethical Science is particularly concerned with the study of man and human and is, therefore, especially related to all those
sciences dealing with the study of human nature and human living.

1. ETHICS AND LOGIC – Logic is the science of right thinking. Ethics is the science of right living. But right living presupposes
right thinking. Doing follows thinking. To think right often means to do right, as knowledge of right leads to the doing of right.
Both ethics and logic aim at rectitude: the former aims at right doing: the latter at right thinking.

2. Ethics and Psychology- both deal with the study of man, human nature, and human behavior. There is, however, a basic
difference. Psychology is not interested in the morality of human behavior, unlike ethics. Psychology studies how man
behaves: ethics studies how man ought to behave. The word “ought” is emphasized to show the difference. Ethics is
concerned with moral obligation while psychology is not.

3. ETHICS IS RELATED TO SOCIOLOGY – Ethics deals with the moral order which includes the social order. Whatever does
violence to the social order does violence also to the natural and moral order.

San Mateo Municipal College ETHICS


Bachelor of Science in Psychology Prof. Soledad A.
Tambaoan
4. Ethics and Economics – Man is also an economic being because he has to support himself by earning a living. He has to live
by bread (though he does not live by bread alone).Economics and morality are two aspects of one and the same human
nature.

Economics deal with such topics as wages, production, and distribution of wealth. But what will determine the relations
between employer and employee, for instance? This and all other relations in business must be based on justice and charity
which, after all are moral principles. In order that peace and happiness will prevail in a community, the actions of man must be
governed by the invariable principles of morality.

6. Ethics and Education – develops the whole man: his moral, intellectual and physical capacities. Since man, however, is
primarily a rational moral being (endowed with reason and will, which ranks him above brute creation), the objective of
education should be the development of these powers in man, which - moral character as the first and primary aim of all
education. “All schools should develop good moral character, personal discipline, civic consciousness, etc.

7. Ethics and Art- Ethics stands for moral goodness. Art for beauty. But as transcendental the beautiful and the good are one.
Evil always implies ugliness or defects and the good is always beautiful since it is the very object of desire and therefore, like
beauty, pleases when perceived.

a. The question often arises as to whether a piece of art which is offensive to morals can ever be considered beautiful.

8. Ethics and Politics – Man owes allegiance to the state. Politics aims at good government for the temporal welfare of the
citizens. But between the, the temporal, and spiritual, and eternal welfare there is no conflict . The two inseparables in man’s
present state of existence , where the material and the spiritual , the body and the spirit, form one person.

a. Politics has often become very dirty and the reason is precisely because, it is divorced from ethics. Disorder and
confusion inevitably following a state from such violation of ethical principles, as electoral frauds, bribery, graft,
blackmail ,intrigue, etc.

5. Religion and Ethics – Lastly, we have the closest relation between these two phases of human activity: religion and ethics.
This is evident from the following considerations:

a) Both of these are based on the same postulates:

1. The existence of a creator


2. Freedom of the will in man
3. Immorality

b) Both have the same end – the attainment of man’s supreme purpose or man’ ultimate end.

c) Both prescribed the same meaning. The questions sometimes arise whether there can really be ethics apart from
religion.
The answer is that true ethics can never be separated from God. Reason: Ethics implies morality and morality presupposes a
distinction between right and wrong in human actions. But what is the ultimate ground of distinction between right and wrong.

THE IMPORTANCE OF ETHICS

The importance of the study of ethics follows immediate from the importance of ethics itself.

1. Ethics means right living and good moral character; and it is in good moral character that man finds his true worth and
perfection. All the great teachers of the ages maintain that the supreme purpose of human living lies not in the acquisition of

San Mateo Municipal College ETHICS


Bachelor of Science in Psychology Prof. Soledad A.
Tambaoan
material goods or bodily pleasures, nor in the attainment of bodily perfections such as health and strengths; nor even in the
development of the moral qualities which lift man far above brute creation.

2. Education is the harmonious development of the whole man- of all man’s faculties: the moral, intellectual, and physical power
in man. Now the highest of man’s power are his reason and will. Hence, the primary objective of education is the moral
development of the will.

Unfortunately, this moral training that is most important in man is not given due emphasis in our educational system. Our
schools train the head more than the heart and the will. The result is the unbalanced training evident in the products of our
schools today.

Knowledge is good, bodily health and strength are good, but first and above all- good character. In the words of George
Washington, morality and religion are the two indispensable pillars to human prosperity and happiness.

3. According to Socrates, the unexamined life is not worth living for man. Now ethics, as we already said before, it is the very
investigation of the meaning of life. That is why Plato calls and considers ethics the supreme science , the science par
excellence, as it is in this science that deals with the “Summum Bonum, ”the supreme purpose of human living.
MORALITY AND THE OTHER PHASES OF HUMAN LIFE

Life is a many- “splendored thing. “It is a unity of many aspects, the social, the economic, the moral, the physical, the religious, etc.
since the rational and the moral are the essential distinguishing characteristics of man (it follows that morality is the basic element of
human life and cannot be separated from the other phases of human activity.

Morality and Law – Morality and Law are intimately related. Right and wrong, good, and bad in human actions presuppose a law or rule
of conduct. Furthermore, the laws of the state are restatements, specifications of an interpretations of an anterior natural moral law as
we shall show in the chapter on “Ethics and Law.”

There is, however, a striking difference between what is moral and what is legal. The legal only covers the external acts of man; the
moral governs even the internal acts of man, such as the volitional and the intentional activities of the will and the mind, i.e. man’s
thoughts and desires.

Thus, a man may commit a thousand murders in his mind or a thousand adulteries in his desires, and is, for these, morally guilty; yet
legally he is not criminally liable or guilty. “murdering” or killing a man supposed to be alive but who was already killed before is from
the legal viewpoint an “impossible crime” not punished by law; yet from the moral viewpoint the act is definitely wrong and the “killer”
morally guilty. Intending to rob a bank even if the robbery for some reason or another was not consummated involves moral guilt;
whereas from the legal viewpoint no crime is committed, nor any criminal liability incurred thereby.

LEARNING ACTIVITIES

1. Give two definitions of ethics and explain the terms found therein.
2. Why is ethics considered a practical science?
3. Both psychology and ethics study human behavior, but what is the difference between the two?
ASSESSMENT/EVALUATION

1. In what sense is life “ a many splendored thing”? Comment on this view.


2. What two essential aspects of human nature are distinctly human and intimately related to morality?
3. Of all of man’s activities, with what is ethics most intimately related? Justify your answer.
POINTS TO PONDER

San Mateo Municipal College ETHICS


Bachelor of Science in Psychology Prof. Soledad A.
Tambaoan
1. What part of the module captured your attention?
2. Why do you like the topic?
3. How will you apply the topic in your daily activities?
ASSIGNMENT

Read the text: Give your insight about the text. In 10 sentences.

THE VIRTUE OF TEMPERANCE

Virtue is not something abstract, detached from life, but on the contrary, it has deep “roots” in life itself, it springs from the latter and
forms it. Virtue has an impact on man’s life, on his actions and behavior. It follows that, in all these reflections of ours, we are speaking
not so much of the virtue of man as a living and acting virtuously, we are speaking of the prudent, just and courageous man, and finally
precisely today, we are speaking of the temperate (or sober) man.

The term temperature itself seems in a certain way to refer what is outside man. We say in fact that a temperate man is one who do not
abuse food, drinks, pleasure, who does not drink alcohol to excess, who does not deprive himself of consciousness by the use of
drugs, etc. This reference to elements external to man has its basis, however, within man. It is as if there existed in each of us a higher
self and a lower self. In our lower self, our body and everything that belongs to it is expressed. Its needs, its desires, its passion of a
sensual nature particularly. The virtue of temperance guarantees everyman mastery of the lower self, by the higher self. Is this
humiliation of our body? Or a disability? On the contrary, this mastery gives higher value to the body. As a result of the virtue of
temperance, the body and our senses find the right place which pertains to them in our human condition.

A temperate man is one who is master of himself, one in whom passions do not prevail over reasons, will and even the heart. A man
who can control himself. If this is so, we can easily realize what a fundamental and radical value the virtue of temperance has. It is even
indispensable, in order that man may be fully man. It is enough to look at someone who, carried away by his passions, become a
victim, of them-renouncing of his own accord the use of reason ( such as for example, an alcoholic, a drug addict)- to see clearly that:
to be a man means respecting one’s own dignity, and therefore among other things, letting oneself be guided by the virtue of
temperance.

LEARNING RESOURCES

Montemayor, Felix. (1994). Ethics: The Philosophy of Life. National Bookstore ISBN 9710858335

San Mateo Municipal College ETHICS


Bachelor of Science in Psychology Prof. Soledad A.
Tambaoan